Masaru Yokoyama, composer

Composer’s Corner: Masaru Yokoyama

Happy Birthday to the new king of romantic anime OST, Masaru Yokoyama. Best-known for his heart-wrenching scores to Your Lie in April and Love & Logic, the modern pianist-composer has amassed an invigorating body of work worthy of today’s spotlight. Check-out our top 5 tracks from his discography:

Watashi no Uso (Your Lie in April, 2014)


Perhaps is most-defining work, Masaru’s score to the deeply moving Your Lie in April is equal parts delicate and (emotionally) heavy-handed. The piano-based forlorn theme captures the essence of the beautiful tale about 2 virtuosi who discover love, loss, and frienship through the power of music. We dare you not to cry!
Available at AmazonCDJAPAN.CO.JP

Suite of the Seven Stars (Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, 2015)


What Yokoyama calls his “classical” music, this piece from the epic Gundam series embodies the self-superiority and European aesthestic of the ruling “Seven Stars” family clans. But, the entire OST pays homage to the western-style film/battle music heavily associated with the Gundam series and is a bit of a departure from what we usually hear from Yokoyama.
Read an interview with Yokoyama by Kakaku.com (Japanese only)
Available at AmazonCDJAPAN.CO.JP

AGAIN & AGAIN (Plastic Memories, 2015)


Plastic Memories is truly tragic – and a perfect fit for our birthday boy! Yokoyama wrote the music for Melody Chubak’s soft English ballad with lyrics by Luna Goami. Solo piano is, of course, the composer’s forté – expertly expressingly the sorrowful romance with step-wise melodies, slight pauses, and an undulating tempo. Most certainly an OST to be remembered.
Available at AmazonCDJAPAN.CO.JP

Kaze no you ni… kumo no you ni (Arakawa Under the Bridge, 2010)


Yokoyama’s first anime song is “comfortable” – not a word you’d associate with the source material in Arakawa. The J-POP-influenced, and often comedic, score is light and airy with some promising melodies. You could tell he was going to go far in his career. Perhaps the only drawback is the usage of obvious electronic string sounds, but that could link to the premused “other-worldly-ness” of the titular character and her gang of misfits. Yokoyama’s hiring was a natural progression considering his work on the hilarious talk show/drama Ijin no kuru heya.
Available at AmazonCDJAPAN.CO.JP

For the Quest (Fate/Apocrypha, 2017)


This year, Yokoyama joined the forces of fate, expanding his repertoire to score for a music large “fantasy” symphony orchestra. Brass and woodwinds dominate the score, but strings often have Celtic melodies reminiscient of Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. If you’re a fan of Fate/zero and Unlimited Blade Works, you’ll definitely be inspired by his newest epic OST!

Happy Birthday, Masaru-san!

Takayuki Negishi, composer

Best Music from Takayuki Negishi

It’s his birthday! Composer and synthesizer operator Takayuki Negishi is comfortable working with magical girls, action-adventure boys, and card games all around! Best known for his Cardcaptor Sakura and Cardfight!! Vanguard OSTs, Negishi’s combination of pop styles, jazz chords, and classical orchestration have created memorable musical moments in anime history! Check-out our top 5 tracks from his discography:

“Sakura Theme II” (Cardcaptor Sakura, 1998)


We LOVE this pop-disco theme for the ever-so-energetic Sakura. Equal parts beautiful and inspiring, the uptempo rhythm section backs the sweet string melody as the titular character learns to control her newfound powers. Hope Negishi returns for the new anime!

“Power of Psyqualia” (Cardfight!! Vanguard, 2011)


Final Turn! You know when this them begins, you’re in deep doo-doo. The powerful pulsating opening rhythm opens up the gates of Hell to unleash the demonic strength of the blaring horns and high intensity strings. Perhaps the best moments in Cardfight history!

“Aoyama-kun daisuki!” (Tokyo Mew Mew, 2002)


At 2:00, Ichigo’s young love theme is rich and dynamic, passing through several moments of lush string harmonies, cello and viola riffs, and unexpected by inspiring chord changes. Negishi borrows the “gentle ending” affect from his work on Cardcaptor Sakura.

Shukusei no monotachi (Tokyo Majin, 2007)


Negishi’s re-working of Vivaldi’s “Winter” with added harpsichord solo and Aeolian orchestra break creates the hellish atmosphere for Animax’s supernaturally super-powered teen action-drama. And what a great budget to have live instruments interpreting the classically sinister score!

“Which will win? Lupin vs. The General” (Lupin III: Dead or Alive, 1996)


Right at home in the famous Lupin universe, Negishi’s jazz training shines through in this high 70’s battle/chase music paying homage to Yuji Ohno. Listen to his masterful juggling of harmonized saxophone passages, sweeping strings, and full band powerful octaves!

Happy Birthday, Takayuki!

Top 10 2016 anime OSTs

Top 10 Animes OSTs of 2016

Happy 2017 Everyone! Hope you had a great celebration. We start the year off with our top 10 anime OSTs from 2016. The anime may not be best/most-popular of the year, but the music certainly is:

#10 Twin-Star Exorcists / Mikio Endō

Summer 2016


WATCH The hit action show of the summer starts of our list! Mikio Endō (K, Coppelion) is a newbie to the anime scene and at times it shows. But this action-packed score is so powerful that we couldn’t help but put it on the list. Looking forward to the OST release!

#9 SERVAMP / Kenji Kawai

Summer 2016


WATCHBUY Veteran composer Kenji Kawai (Fate/stay night, Ranma 1/2) brings his decades of experience to this fun, supernatural show. “Smooth” best describes his dynamic score which moves effortlessly from sweet “elevator music” to pumping action under a synthetic melody. Kawai has certainly embraced the electronic-synth age as he continues his craft.

#8 Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Season 3 / Yasuharu Takanashi

Spring 2016


WATCHBUY Season 1 & 2 weren’t the best in terms of music (or animation, for that matter). But season 3 is differently moving in the right direction. Yasuharu Takanashi’s (Naruto Shippuden, Fairy Tail) familiar magical girl score may still pale in comparison to the original – save for a few stand-out tracks. Arisawa certainly expanded his music language with each new season and we’re hopeful Takanashi will do the same.

#7 AJIN / Yugo Kanno

Winter 2016


WATCHBUY Psycho-Pass composer Yugo Kanno brings a complex score to the sleeper hit of the winter season. Combining acoustic orchestral writing á la God of War with the Japanese new-age electronica, Kanno’s suspenseful tunes accurately reflect the traumatic and desperate lives of the Ajin such as the perfectly demonic “Main Theme.”

#6 Bungō Stray Dogs / Taku Iwasaki

Spring 2016


WATCHBUY The music chameleon Taku Iwasaki (Kekkaishi, Soul Eater) is back with a solid soundtrack for a solid anime. Bungo’s score’s strength lies in Iwasaki’s unique approach to electro-acoustic music, blending genres and unusual timbres with pulsating EDM beats and guest rappers. Fun fact: season 2 is his favorite score to date!

#5 D.Gray-man HALLOW / Kaoru Wada

Fall 2016


WATCHBUY Kaoru Wada (InuYasha, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney) is a master of manipulation! He creates unforgettable themes and transforms them throughout all his scores – and HALLOW is no exception! Listen to Allen’s theme as a battle tune, romantic interlude, suspenseful moment, or creepy encounter – it’s genius! So happy to hear throwbacks to his original music from the 2006 anime as well!

#4 Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju / Kana Shibue

Winter 2016


WATCH A newcomer to the anime scene, gifted pianist-composer Shibue offers a nostaglic score imbued with jazz idioms and improvisational musical dialogue that fits perfectly with the show’s time period. We’re very excited to hear what she has coming next!

#3 Erased / Yuki Kajiura

Winter 2016


WATCH If you weren’t expecting to cry this year, tough luck! Aniplex’s tearjerking thriller had some of the best storylines and OSTs of the season! Yuki Kaijura (Sword Art Online, Tsubasa Resevoir Chronicle) is really at her best here; her score piano-driven score is sensitive, emotional, nuanced and will ALWAYS MAKE YOU CRY.

#2 Natsume Yūjinchō Go / Makoto Yoshimori

Fall 2016


WATCH Yes, yes, YES!! It’s BAAACCCKKK!! Makoto Yoshimori (Baccano! Durarara!!) creates a fitting warmth and gentle soundtrack for this very sweet and humbling anime. Certainly a pianist at heart, he has a delicate touch in orchestrating for his small chamber group of strings, clarinet, harp, piano, and traditional Japanese instruments. Would love to do a concert of all his beautiful music from the Natsume series.

#1 My Hero Academia / Yuki Hayashi

Spring 2016


WATCHBUYThe most popular anime of the year? Probably. The most epic shounen score of the year? Definitely! Yuki Hayashi has been creating strong OSTs recently (Haikyuu!!, Death Parade, One Piece Film: Gold) and this one is no exception; he’s becoming a powerhouse in the shounen genre. So, get pumped, get inspired, and rock out with your … superpower out to this powerful soundtrack! Check out our version of the thrilling “you say run.” Highly recommended.

Did we miss your favorite? Let us know on social media!

Sound Euphonium

Debuting ‘The ONGAKU Report’

Introducing our newest monthly series: The ONGAKU Report! Want to know what anime and geek music events are happening this month? Check out our list below for upcoming November events in the tri-state area:

NOVEMBER

04-10 – WE ARE X: X Japan documentary @ Alamo Drafthouse
10 – Shounen Knife @ The Brighton Bar, Long Branch, NJ
13 – VAMPS @ Irving Plaza
18 – SOULJAM: A Tribute to Taku Iwasaki feat. LOTUS JUICE @ Littlefield NYC
18-20 – DerpyCon @ Hyatt Regency Morristown, NJ
18-20 – PhilCon @ Crowne Plaza Hotel, Cherry Hill, NJ
19 – MOMOIRO CLOVER Z @ Playstation Theater

Have news of an upcoming concert or performance in the future? Send us a tip!

VIDEO RELEASE: “Platinum” from Sakura Symphony Vote

You wanted it, so you’ve got it! The winning tune from our Sakura Symphony vote is プラチナ [Purachina] “Platinum” (the 3rd Opening).

This “after-school special”-esque tune by Yoko Kanno and performed by Maaya Sakamoto is perhaps the most popular within in the CCS fandom. Thanks to all who watched, shared, and enjoyed our tribute to the music of Cardcaptor Sakura!

Next week, we’ll be announcing the theme to our next performance season: Season III!